Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a visiting researcher at the University of California Santa Barbara and author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, says that single people are often viewed as lonely and unhappy. However, this seems to be changing as the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that singles make up 50.2% of the population in the United States. This means that for the first time, the majority of adults in the US are unmarried.
“I do think that as the number of single people continues to grow—to well over 100 million adults just in the U.S.—it will be increasingly difficult to maintain the stereotypes and caricatures of single people,” says DePaulo. “There are just too many single people who are happy and healthy and love their single lives, and too many people who know single people who are thriving for the misperceptions to endure.”
DePaulo offers clear and concise advice to all single people out there, “Living your single life fully, joyfully, and unapologetically—even as other people are insisting, without any good scientific basis, that you must be less healthy than your married counterparts—is a good way to maintain your good health.”
There are many clear benefits that come together with leading a single life, such as: partaking in regular exercise, having more close friends, ending up with less debt, and becoming self-sufficient.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these positive outcomes of being single.
You partake in regular exercise
“Many single women and men care about their health and their well-being,” says DePaulo. “They exercise, eat right, and live overall healthy lifestyles.”
Astroglide’s resident sexologist, Dr. Jess, supports this idea and notes, “ A study of 13,000 Americans aged 18 to 64 found that those who have never been married get more exercise than all other relationship categories (divorced/separated, married, or widowed), regardless of age and gender. Since exercise is positively correlated with a host of positive health measures including positive mood, high energy levels, favorable sleep patterns, improved cardiovascular fitness, and even sexual functioning, it seems that singles are onto something good!”
Furthermore, a 2004 study from the University of Maryland concurred that unmarried adults exercised more than married ones. This study even included married people without kids.
A British survey conducted in 2011 also supports findings. Researchers discovered that 76% of married men and 63% of married women did not partake in the 150 minutes of physical activity that adults are recommended to do. Comparatively, only 33% of single men and women failed to undertake the same amount of exercise.
You have more close friends
“Some experts suggest that single people may be more resilient and may form stronger social networks than married people, as they may look for additional opportunities to socialize,” says Dr. Jess.
A 2006 University of Massachusetts at Amherst study discovered that single people were better at maintaining relationships with friends, neighbors, and their wider family than married people.
“Single people—especially single women—often have networks of people who are important to them,” says DePaulo. “They have ‘the ones’ rather than ‘the one.’”
You end up with less debt
Debt is one of the great stresses in life. It has been found that single people tend to have less debt. Although debt cannot be classified as a health issue, it has been shown to impact negatively on both emotional and physical well-being.
Once more, in a 2014 survey of over 2,000 adults in relationships, one in three admitted to “financial infidelity”. In other words, they lied to their partner about their money status. This shows that money can be the cause of tension in a relationship.
You become self-sufficient
People who are single tend to relish the time they have to themselves. In fact, when thinking about spending time alone, almost none of them fear that they will be lonely. Rather, they look forward to the solitude.
If you are living the single life, don’t be victim to the negative stereotypes. Know that going solo has many benefits that can leave you feeling healthier and happier than those who have tied the knot.
Featured photo credit: Ask Men via askmen.com